tv C-SPAN Weekend CSPAN December 13, 2009 10:30am-1:00pm EST
meat on the bones of that proposal. for instance, they mentioned that there needs to be protection for u.s. industries and this is a widely shared view, to make sure that manufacturing in countries, if there are countries that don't take stepses, it doesn't create a disadvantage for american industries. however, when asked directly are they endorsing this idea of a carbon tariff, they said we're not there yet. so that will be something to watch. over the summer the president expressed skepticism of a carbon tearry. on the other hand, you've got some democrats from manufacturing states which say this needs to be there. if i had to look into a crystal ball, i think the white house would be willing to accept such a step to get a climate bill through the senate. >> we saw some of the debate this past week, sara palin, al gore in a number of interviews. where is that heading both with those two and also the debate in general in the congress as a result of copenhagen? >> to be honest, sara palin and
al gore represent these two opposite ends of the spectrum publicly, in terms of where the debates really going in the senate, it really hinges on the folks that ben was talking about, this kind of core group of moderates, mid western coal rust and farm belt senators. they're the ones, and they tend to be pretty quiet. we don't hear them debating publicly that we hear gore, palin, joe barton. these are sort of a group that really does believe that climate change is real, that it's taking place, are really genuinely concerned that any kind of legislation to curb emissions could potentially hurt their home state industries. behind the scenes they're working with folks like senator kerry, graham, lieberman to figure out the very careful details of some kind of legislation that would put a
cap on emissions and protect their home state industries, and if they can reach that deal, if they can sort of come to terms with some very detailed provisions crafted behind the scenes, probably in senate majority leader harry reid's office, that will really be the key in whether or not something passes the senate and in the eyes of the rest of the world they recognize that that makes a difference in whether or not the u.s. can commit to a serious global warming bill and global warming treaty. so those are really the most influential folks in the debate right now as quiet as they are. >> coral davepb port, and ben geman, thanks for joining us. >> thank you. >> thank you.
this is just over an hour. >> i ask the gentlemen of the press to be as inconspicuous as possible and not interfere with the witnesses today. . the hearing will come to order. . hearing will come to order. i want to first say that no demonstration will be tolerated. let anyone disturbing by signs or any other disturbance will be removed forthwith. so today i welcome -- the armed services committee.
our second hearing on afghanistan. the results of strategic review. witnesses today general stanley mcchrystal, commander international security assistant force in the united states force of afghanistan and the honorable carl ikenberry. we welcome you, we thank you for being with us as we have been long anticipating your testimony today. two months ago i wrote a lengthy letter to the president some six pages. that he listen to his commanders in the field. and let me begin by commending the president by demonstrating his commitment to achieving success in afghanistan by adding 30,000 american troops to the war. in that letter and in private considerations i urged the president to listen to our military leaders and give them what they needed, and he did just that. i've noted that the war in iraq caused the previous
administration to lose focus on afghanistan shortly after deposing the taliban regime, enforcing al qaeda out of afghanistan the preoccupation with iraq caused the war in afghanistan to be underresourced with essentially no strategy. unsurprisingly, the taliban and their al qaeda allies were able to come back and once again threaten the stability of afghanistan and the region and ultimately our country. the president in his speech last week conveyed his commitment to addressing the threat. posed by al qaeda and their taliban allies in january of 2009, there are about 33,000 united states troops in afghanistan, now in about seven months, there'll be three times that. yesterday in my office, ikenberry informed me will soon also have tripled the number of civilian experts assigned to the mission, and we welcome that. many in the press have compared
the increase and forces in afghanistan to the surge in iraq. i don't think such comparisons are wise are fair. as a percentage of the forces on the ground, increase ordered by president obama is much larger than the increase in iraq. and the fight in afghanistan will be different in many ways. many articles citing general petraeus yesterday suggested he does not believe that progress in afghanistan will not come as quickly as it did in iraq. in the article he suggested that we must be measured in our expectations. to me this article highlights the need for a commitment to accomplishing this mission. not just from the president, but from the congress and the american people. i hope that this hearing can help build that sense of support and that sense of commitment. general mcchrystal and you, ambassador ikenberry, sat in my
office and told me you think we can successfully complete the mission in afghanistan. i believe that you're right. that the president's new strategy coupled with increase in troops and civilian experts in the sense of urgency provided by the july 2011 target for transition presents our best chance for success. and remember, this committee will have questions about how it can be accomplished. what does success in afghanistan look like? what do we believe must be accomplished in the next 18 months? what risk are we accepting in the next 18 months? how will we convince the pakistanis their interests lie with us? how will we measure progress over time? and how will we help the afghan people build a legitimate government that can end the insurgency? while i do have questions about
implementation, i do not have any doubt that we must succeed in afghanistan, that the president is ranked to order the deployment of an additional 30,000 troops on top of the troops already approved. and that the new strategy provides a good path for success. i hope our witnesses today can help us fill in the details of how the difficult but achievable goals can be accomplished. ultimately we are working to protect the american people and to end the threat from al qaeda. now i turn to my good friend mccann, the ranking member, the gentleman from california for comments he may have. let me buck one administrative note before our witnesses begin their statements. members are reminded there is a classified briefing with admiral lafever, the military officer in pakistan and 3:01 today given
the importance of pakistan, i hope members will schedule themselves to attend there. and with that, let's begin. >> thank you, mr. chairman. general mcchrystal, ambassador ikenberry, welcome, and thank you for being here this morning. this committee, this congress, and the american people have been awaiting your testimony. before i go into the substance of my remarks, i want to state at the outset that all of us support your mission in afghanistan and the men and women serving under your command. for over three months, washington has been mired in a substantial war debate. pundits and academics alike have been weighing in on whether the conflict in afghanistan is in our national interest and if this is a fight we can win. in the absence of a clear authoritative voice during the months of the white house review, the course of the debate
has followed a flood of leaks from the always popular but never accountable anonymous source. to put it mildly, this was not helpful. during this time, the public support for the war waned. and i worry our mission suffered too. with the president's speech last week and your testimony here today, i believe we've finally turned a corner in this war. we must now move from the assessment stage to the execution stage of this strategy. instead of asking if we can achieve success, we must now give the time, space, and resources that you need to succeed. rather than questioning if the united states has a will to win, you, general mcchrystal, ambassador ikenberry, and the thousands of u.s. military and civilians in afghanistan will demonstrate the will of this mission to defeat al qaeda,
route the taliban, and bring stability to afghanistan. it's time we conclude this chapter on the war debate in washington and write the next chapter on national consensus and mission success. you, gentlemen, will have the pen. you shall be the authors of success. today you will write the first page of this next chapter. after these hearings, washington must step aside and let kabul once again become ground zero in this conflict. general mcchrystal and ambassador ikenberry, the task before you is enormous. i know i speak for the entire committee when i say you are the best people to take on this challenge. this country is blessed to have leaders like you in its service. in september, your written word when we received your assessment, we read your written word when we received your
assessment. today we need to hear you speak about the unwritten words between the lines of the assessment. this is your opportunity to speak to the citizens of this country and interested parties across the world. i think when they hear from you they'll be convinced of the soundness of our strategy and optimistic about the chances for our success. fortunately much of your assessment seems to have been internalized in washington and by members of this committee. on tuesday night, the president agreed to provide you with additional troops to execute a counterinsurgency strategy. the commander in chief responded to the urgency of the situation when he committed to deploy those forces as fast as possible. last week, secretary gates testified that our aim is to reverse the taliban's momentum, which is precisely what your assessment described as
essential to preventing mission failure in afghanistan. yet, the president's speech and subsequent testimony last week left me concerned that the administration did not adopt some of the fundamentals of your assessment. nowhere in your assessment did i see discussion of a date certain to begin withdrawal. in fact, you wrote that the long-term fight will require patience and commitment. i believed your concern was at the afghan people are waiting on the sidelines to see how committed we are. did we demonstrate that commitment last week? on thursday, secretary gates testified that he was persuaded by you and general petraeus that beginning a period of transition on a date certain will, in fact, incentivize the afghans. moreover, i cannot find need
to -- before last week's speech, i assumed like many that the afghan national security forces were doing everything they could to get into the fight. while corruption in the realm of governance and development @@rá@ rnce and development and more capacity on the part of nato to train the afghans. so, where did this new narrative of putting pressure on the afghans come from? what i did not hear last week was a commitment to follow the recommendation of your assessment and build an afghan national security force of 400,000. instead, admiral mullen spoke of taking it year by year, again, i don't recall your assessment recommending incrementalism. i'm interested to hear how your head quarters will interpret
last week's guidance from washington. finally, there's thecal question of resources. first, are 30,000 additional forces enough to win decisively? first, are 30,000 additional forces enough to win decisively? as you wrote in the assessment, resources will not win this war, but underresourcing could lose it. given the many leagues you requested at a minimum 40,000 additional forces. please explain why the president is not underresourcing his own strategy. will you have to cut the scope of the mission because you did not receive 60,000 to 80,000 more forces? and next year, you determine that additional -- if next year you determine that additional forces are required, do you have the flexibility to ask for more?
while we've heard about top line numbers, we've not heard discussion about the composition of these forces. how many combat brigades will deploy? how many will be trainers? will each combat brigade receive all its enablers. will the cap of the 30,000 forces make you choose between adding combat forces or enablers? general, ambassador, this is your opportunity to answer the critics and bolster the supporters. no one is more qualified to do this than you. again, thank you for being here. good luck, god speed in your mission. i yield back. >> thank you, gentlemen. now we open the floor and general mcchrystal, please. >> mr. chairman, congressman
mckin, distinguished members of this committee. thank you for the chance to appear before you today. i welcome this opportunity to testify on our way ahead in afghanistan. and i'm pleased to do so with ambassador carl ikenberry, an old friend. let me begin by saluting the bravery of the men and women of the international security force in afghanistan. they're anchored by over 68,000 courageous americans, our close partners in the nato alliance, and a 43 nation coalition. we honor the sacrifices of the fallen, the veterans, and their families. we also recognize the toll paid every day by our counter parts in the afghanistan security forces and afghan civilians who ultimately suffer the most from this insurgency. it is for them and for all of us that we seek a stable afghanistan, a defunct al qaeda, and a secure future in that vital region of the world. i first deployed to afghanistan
in 2002 and have commanded forces there every year since. despite that experience, there is much in afghanistan that i have yet to fully understand. for all of us, afghanistan is a challenge that's best aproufed with a balance of determination and humility. while u.s. forces have been at war in afghanistan for eight years, the afghans have been at it for more than 30. they are frustrated with international efforts that failed to meet their expectations, confronting us with a crisis of confidence among afghans who view the international effort as insufficient, and their government is corrupt, or at the very least, inconsequential. the afghan taliban is a prominent threat to the government of afghanistan as they aspire to once again become the government of afghanistan. the insurgent groups have more limited geographical region
objectives, but they are no less lethal. all three groups are supported to some degree by external elements in iran and pakistan, have ties with al qaeda, and coexist within narcotics and criminal networks both fuelling and feeding off instability and insecurity in the region. the mission in afghanistan is undeniably difficult and will incur significant costs. i participated fully in the president's assessment and decision making process and was afforded multiple opportunities to provide my recommendations and best military advice, which i did. combined with insights and policy considerations from across our government. i believe the decisions that came from that process reflect a realistic and effective approach. to pursue our core goal of defeating al qaeda and preventing their return to afghanistan, we must disrupt and degrade the taliban's capacity,
deny their access to the afghan population, and strengthen the afghan security forces. this means we must reverse the taliban's current momentum and create time and space to develop afghan security and governance capacity. the president's decision rapidly resources our strategy recognizing that the next 18 months will likely be decisive and ultimately enable success. i fully support the president's decision. the president also reiterated how this decision supports our national interests. rolling back the teleban is a prerequisite to ult ultimate defeat of al qaeda. the mission is not only important it is also achievable. we can and will accomplish this mission. let me briefly explain why i believe so. my confidence arrives first from the afghans resolve since it is their actions that ultimately
matter most in ending this conflict. with their interests and by extension of our own secured. second, we do not confront a popular insurgency. the taliban have no widespread constituency, have a history of failure in power and lack in appealing vision. third, where our strategy is say plied we've begun to show we can help the afghans establish more security and more credible governance. finally, afghans do not regard us as occupiers. they do not wish for us to remain forever, yet they see our support as a necessary bridge to future security and stability. i've been back in afghanistan for six months now. i believe that with the president's decision and ongoing reforms i outlined in our initial assessment our efforts are now empowered with the greater sense of clarity, capability, commitment and confidence. let me start with clarity. the president's recently completed review of our strategy to include its deep and pointed
questioning of all assumptions and recommendations has produced greater clarity of our mission and objectives. we also have greater clarity on the way forward. additional forces will begin to deploy shortly, and by this time next year new security gains illuminated by specific indicators and clear to us that the insurgency has lost the momentum. and bip the summer of 2011, it will be clear to the afghan people that the insurgency will not win giving them the chance to side with their government. from that point forward, while we plan to have fewer combat forces in harm's way -- >> will the gentleman suspend. the lady with the sign will remove herself immediately. >> sergeant and arms, please make sure she leaves through the door.
general, please resume. >> thank you, mr. chairman. from that point forward while we plan to have fewer forces in harm's way we will remain partnered with the afghan security forces in a supporting role to consolidate and solidify their gains. results may come more quickly and we may demonstrate quickly towards measurable objectives, the silver fact, there are no silver bullets. ultimate success the cumulative effect across mutt 358 lines of operation. increasing our capability has been about much more than just troop increases. for the past six months we have been implementing organizational and operational changes that are already reflecting improvements in our effectiveness. but the additional forces announced by president obama are significant. forces to increase our capacity to train the afghan national security forces and forces to partner with afghan army and police in expanding security zones in key areas will provide us the ability to reverse
insurgent momentum and deny the taliban the access to the population they require to survive. the additional capability we are building translates into credibility in the minds of afghans who demand proof not only that we want to protect them, but that we can. in a world perception where the battle field is the mind of an afghan elder, it's hope of an afghan mother, the aspirations of an afghan child, this can be decisive. our commitment is watched intently and constantly judged by our allies and by our enemies. the commitment of 30,000 additional u.s. forces along with additional coalition forces and growing afghan national security force numbers will be a significant step towards expanding security in critical areas and in demonstrating resolve. the commitment of all coalition nations will be buttressed as clear understanding of how we will mitigate risks. i'll briefly mention three. the first is the afghan
government's credibility deficit, which must be recognized by all to include afghan officials as critical area of focus and change. equally important is our ability to accelerate development of the afghan security forces. measures such as increased pay and initiatives, literacy training, leader development and expanded partnering are necessary to position the afghan national security force to assume responsibility for long-term security. third, the hazard posed by extremists that operate on both sides the border with pakistan with freedom of movement across that border must be mitigated by enhanced crossborder coordination and enhanced pakistani engagement. looking ahead i'm confident we have both the right strategy and the right resources. every trip around afghanistan reinforces by confidence in the coalition and afghan forces we stand alongside in this effort.
but i also find confidence in those we are trying to help. that confidence is found where an afghan farmer chooses to harvest wheat rather than poppy. or where a young adult casts his or her vote or joins the police. or where a group of villagers resolving to reject the local insurgency. we face many challenges in afghanistan, but you are efforts sustained by one reality. neither the afghan people nor the international community want afghanistan to remain a sanctuary for terror and violence, and if we are to be confident of our mission and prospects we must be accurate in the our assessment of progress. we owe ourselves, our leaders and the american people transparency and candor, because the price to be paid is high and the stakes are even higher. in closing, my team and i would like to thank you and your colleagues for your support to the american men and women currently serving in afghanistan, and to tell you a
bit about them. we risk letting numbers like 30 k roll off our tongues without remembers those are fathers, mother, sons and daughters serving far from home, self fls their sacrifices for each of us. the other day i asked a young but combat experienced sergeant where he was on 9/11. his answer, getting my braces removed, remind me it's been more than eight years since 9/11, and many of our service members and families have experienced and sacrificed much. but as i see them in action at remote bases, on patrol, partnering with afghan forces, recovering in combat hospitalses, they don't talk about all they've given up. they talk about all they are accomplishing and their determination in this endeavor. this is not a force of rookies or dilettantes. the brigade commander in post is completing his fourth combat tour in afghanistan, and his
experience and skirtese is reflective of the force that represents you. all have felt fear and loneliness. most have lost comrades. none have lost heart. in their eyes i see maturity beyond their years, in their actions i see a compliment to succeed and a commitment to each other. i'm confident that i share your pride in what these great american, doing for our country in afghanistan and it will be my privilege to accept your questions on their behalf. thank you, mr. chairman. >> general, thank you. after the next witness testifies, i'll ask that the members of the press, the photographers, move from the immediate front to the sides. it would be of great help to us. ambassador eikenberry, we thank you for being with us. you're now recognized. thank you. >> chairman skelton, ranking member and distinguished members of this committee, thank you for the opportunity to present my views on afghanistan today.
and i'd ask that my full statement be submitted for the record. >> without objection. make sure you get real close to the microphone there. >> how's that? >> much better. thank you. >> okay. last week in the speech at west point, president obama presented the administration's strategy for aká@ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ r i can say without equivocation that i fully support this approach. . . amazing team of diplomats, development specialists and civilian experts who formed the
most capable and dedicated united states embassy anywhere in the world. and i'm extraordinarily proud of them. i'm also honored to testify alongside general stan mcchrystal, my professional mcchrystal, my professional colleague and friend of many years. i want to say from the outset that general mcchrystal and i are united in a joint effort where civilian and military personnel work together every day. side by side with our afghan partners and our allies. and we could not accomplish our objectives without this kind of cooperation. as you know, mr. chairman, the united states is at a critical juncture in our involvement in afghanistan. on december 1st, the president ordered 30,000 additional troops to deploy to afghanistan on an accelerated timetable with the goal of rating the insurgencies momentum, haynesing the security forces and establishing security
in key parts of afghanistan. on the civilian side, we aim to increase employment and provide essential services in areas of greatest insecurity, and to improve critical ministries in the economy at the national level. these steps together will, i believe, help us to remove insurgents from the battlefield and build support for the afghan government. as the president said, we will be clear about what we expect from those who receive our assistance, and after a difficult election, the afghan government does show signs of recognizing the need to deliver better governance and security. we await urgent concrete steps in a number of areas. i'd like to briefly discuss the three main pillars of our efforts in afghanistan. security, governance and development. general mcchrystal has already addressed our plans for improving security and building the afghan national security
forces. suns assuming my post i've made a special point of getting out of kabul and see conditions firsthand and fully concur with general mcchrystal the answersment that the situation remains serious. sending additional u.s. and nato ispp forces is critical. this will expand our role and toe the afghans it take on a larger role in prying for their own security. president obama said the transition to afghan responsibility will begin in the summer of 2011 when we expect afghan security forces to begin assuming lead responsibility for defending their country. moving on from security. the second pillar of our comprehensive strategy focuses on governance. at the national and sub-national
levels. our overarching going, improve governance so afghans can see the benefit of supporty a lift government and the insurgency loses its support. as general mcchrystal pointsous, one of our major impediments faced, the afghan government's lack of credibility with its own people. to strengthen its legitimacy our approach at the national level is improving key ministries, increasinged number of civilian technical advisers and providing more development assistance directly through these ministries' budgets. by focusing on ministries that deliver essential services and security, we can accelerate the building of the afghan government to one that is sufficiently visible, effective and accountable. at the provincial and district levels we're working jointly with our military through our provincial reconstruction teams,
our district development working groups and our district support teams which help build afghan capacity, particularly in the areas of greatest insecurity, in southern and in eastern afghanistan. underpinning all of these efforts is the need to combat corruption and promote the rule of law. with our assistance, the afghan government is steadily building law enforcement institutions to fight corruption, organized crime and drug trafficking. in its inaugural address, president karzai stated husband intention to make merit based appointments in his new cabinet and implement and anti-corruption strategy. we're very encouraged by these statements. the cultivation of poppy and trafficking of opium continues to have a debilitating effect on afghan society. our strategy is multipronged involving demand reduction, efforts by law enforcement agencies and the military to detain traffickers and interdict
drug shipments and support for illicit agriculture development. the narcotics problem will, of course, never have solution, though, without economic development. this leads to the third pillar of our effort clshs is development. in recent months, we've adjusted our approach to focus on building key aspects, or key elements of afghanistan's private sector economy. increasing our emphasis on agriculture, enhancing government revenue collection and improving the coordination of assistants with the united states' government and the international community. these steps were taken to produce improvements in the lives of ordinary afghans, and to contribute to more effective government and lesson support for the insurgency. rebuilding the farm sector in particular is essential for the afghan government to reduce the pool of unemploy the men who form the recruiting base for extremisist groups. we estimate some 80% of the
afghan population derives their income directly or indirectly from agriculture. mr. chairman, i want to emphasize that we're concentrating on what is essential and obtainable. the president's strategy is based upon a pragmatic assessment of the security interests the united states of america, and our belief that a sustainable representative government and a sustainable economy in afghanistan are essential to our success. we need a viable afghan government so our forces can draw down and the investment of u.s. taxpayer dollars can be reduced. in closing, i'd like to mention two important risks that we face in carrying out this strategy in which i share with general mcchrystal. the first is, in spite of everything we do, afghanistan may struggle to take over the essential task of governance and security on a timely basis. the second is our partnership with pakistan. the effort we're undertaking in
afghanistan is likely to fall short of our strategic goals unless there is more progress at eliminating sanctuaries used by the afghan taliban and their associates inside of pakistan. the main elements of the president's plan are executed, and if our afghan partners and allies do their part, i'm confident we can achieve our strategic octaves. i say this with conviction, because for the first time during my three tours in afghanistan, all of the elements of our national power are being employed with full support of the president and increasingly with our allies. achieving our goals inside of afghanistan will not be easy, but i'm optimistic that we can succeed with the support of congress. our mission was underresourced for years. but it's now one of our government's highest priorities with substantial development funds and hundreds of more civilian personnel. we will soon have increased our
civilian presence in kabul threefold and in the field sixfold just over the past year. we will, of course, need more. the united states foreign assistance is also a comparatively small but essential fraction of the total amount spent in afghanistan over the last eight years. addition resources will be necessary, and we look forward to sharing more details on our anticipated needs with congress in the coming days and weeks. mr. chairman, afghanistan is a daunting challenge. success is not guaranteed, but it is possible. with additional troops and the other resources provided by the president and with the help of the united states congress, we will work tirelessly to ensure that al qaeda never again finds refuge inside of afghanistan and threatens our country and our homeland. thank you, mr. chairman. i look forward to your questions. >> mr. ambassador, thank you so much for being with us.
if there are any photographers in the immediate front the witnesses, please, move to the side. i believe some already have, if not all. thank you for that. general mcchrystal. tell us what your mission is. >> mr. chairman, i believe that our mission is to do two things. first, al qaeda is a threat to the united states and to our allies worldwide. our ability to prevent lk ann curry reestablishing safe havens inside afghanistan is key. as most people know, many of the 9/11 hijackers were in fact trained on afghan soil in al qaeda-run training camps, and it's critical we prevent their ability to return to spaces inside afghanistan and repeat that kind of activity.
wider than that, our mission is to help the government of afghanistan have the ability to defend itself, to conduct its own nation building. top provide it time and space for it to labor or effectively fend off ex-esterile threats to its sovereignty. >> general, do you agree with the president's decision to strategize and increase the number of troops? >> i agree with the president's decision, and i believe that it provides me the resources that we need to execute strategy to accomplish the mission that's outlined for us. >> general, will you be successful in your mission? >> i believe we will absolutely be successful. >> what do you need from us, general? the armed services committee.
>> i believe the resources have been provided by the president's decision. i believe what we need from the armed services committee and from the american people is continued commitment and support for our forces in this mission. >> ambassador eikenberry, november 12, "washington post" discussed two leaked cables sent by you. let me read. "the u.s. ambassador to kabul sent two classified cables to washington in the past week expressing deep concerns about sending more u.s. troops to afghanistan until president hamid karzai's government demonstrates that it is willing to tackle the corruption and mismanagement that has fueled the taliban's rise" senior officials said. would you explain those "leaked"
telegrams? >> thank you, chairman. if i could make three points. first, throughout the very vigorous review of our strategy first of all, in the process of the strategy review the went on for three months, all participants in this vigorous review process were encouraged to state their assessments and recommendations. all of the purchase mintz did that in a variety of way -- all of the participants did that in a variety of ways. my second point is that i would like to clarify that at no point in the review process was i ever opposed to additional troops being sent to afghanistan. i agree with general mcchrystal's strategic assessment. i shared his views about the security situation.
it was dire in certain places of the country. i completely shared his view about the need for the accelerated growth of the afghan national security forces. that requires additional u.s. and nato troops to accomplish that. it was not a question of additional troops. it was the question that we all had about the number of troops and the time lines for those troops. the context in which the troops would operate within. the third point i want to make as a result of this extensive review is that the mission was refined. the ways forward were clarified. the resources have been committed to allow us to achieve the refined mission. at this point in time, i am unequivocally in support of this mission. i am exactly aligned with
general mcchrystal and moving forward to vigorously implement the assigned mission. >> think you, ambassador. the gentleman from california, a ranking member mckeon? >> the washington rumor mill has been fretting over the last three months x.para. -- the washington rumor mill has been fretting over the last three months. i have heard that your request of the president was anywhere between 10,080 thousand additional troops. we have not been given your request. all we have to go on is what we have heard. with each option, i know that you type the request to a risk factor. when i was in afghanistan in
august and we met, i mentioned that i knew that you would been given certain direction from the secretary and others. i ask you directly if that would influence the requests that you made of the commander in chief. iven certain direction from the secretary and from others, and i asked you directly if that was going to influence the request that you made of the commander in chief. you told me, no. you said, you have a moral obligation to ask for what you needed to be successful in the mission. as i mentioned, congress has not had the opportunity to review your troop requests. we did -- we were able to read the original assessment that you sent, but i have the highest level of confidence that you adhered to your word and asked for what you thought you needed given your best military
judgment to be successful. general, can you tell this committee and the american people what were the different force options you requested and the degree of risk that was tied to those requests? >> congressman, that is still a classified document. so i'm unable to go into detail, but i can certainly go into the process, and i'd like to do that. when we completed the initial assessment, we went into a resource analysis which we called it, which is the classified document, and in that is outlined for you during your visit we identified different force packages with associated risk based upon our assessments of that, and then i said that we would also make a recommendation, technically not a request at that point, bought very direct recommendation of my chain of command and what the appropriate force level was. and i did that. through this process, then, when that went into the president's
assessment and decision-making process, what i was very pleased about is, beginning with my initial assessment i was not only encouraged to be candid and straight forward, i was demanded to be canid and straightforward. as we went forward with the resource analysis and that became part of what was considered in the president's assessment, throughout that process, which was exchange of different documents and then a series of security dcs, in every case i was able to make my recommendations or my analysis and they would come back for more detailed rashen nall to explain that. i thought was a very healthy change as ambassador eikenberry laid out, getting everything on the table, getting everybody very clear on where we were, and what i think came out of that was, as we focused on the mission, the understanding of the mission, i believe that the
president's decision reflects resourcing, resources that do, that are congruent with what i recommended we needed. so i'm very comfortable with the outcome resourcewise of what was made in the process. >> general, would you be willing to, in a classified session with the committee, give us what you asked for? >> absolutely, sir. >> and let me now frame the question in a little different way, in public. did you ask for 30,000 troops in 2010? >> i asked for four sets to be deployed as quickly as they could be deployed, and as the flow worked out, that was going to be about that, in 2010, but i didn't ask it that way.
>> thank you, general. did you recommend that the troops begin withdrawal by july 2011? >> i did not recommend anything to do with -- i made no recommendations at all, no. >> in your judgment, does the deployment of 30,000 troops to the eastern and southern parts of the country and the 18-month timeline provide the least risk and most opportunity for success compared to the other options you gave to the commander in chief? >> i believe that nothing in this is without risk, as you've said with least risk. i think it's appropriate rick. what i'd like to do is give the wider context of this. as we look at our partnership with afghanistan from now through the strategic partnership that the president
and the secretary of defense have discussed, in the long term, what in fact we have done is provided the afghans the assurens that we are going to be strategic partners with them. that likely will not involve impart forces but different things over time, but it's a very important part of the long-term commitment to them, and if you are in the insurgency thashs is also a very difficult fact to deal with, because essentially makes the insurgent long-term approach not viable. if you come to near-term, the president has just announced 30,000 additional u.s. forces, and we expect to get some range of additional coalition forces. so starting very quickly, beginning this month, actually, with deployment, we will have a significant increased force on the ground that's going to allow us to turn the momentum, both actual momentum on the ground and momentum in the eyes of the afghan people over about the next 18 months.
i believe the next 18 months are the critical period in this war, because i believe they are critical in the minds of the afghan people and in the minds of the insurgency. so i believe the researchers we've been provided along with the strategy which we already started implemented and the resolve reflected by this support of the american people and our own co-lgs allies i believe for this 18 months we'll make tremendous progress against this while with simultaneously grow afghanistan's capacity to provide for its own security. that, then, bridges to the long term. so i'm very comfortable where we are now as we go out towards the strategic partnership and i don't--i think inappropriately they will try to use it in information operations and describe it as something that it is not in terms of a lack of commitment on the part of that, the u.s. and the coalition,
because we've committed to a long-term partnership, but i think we can deal with that. and on the positive, it is a bit of a forcing function by being very clear to all the players involved that we are going to be looking hard at things, it provide as forcing function and impetus for moving forward for the afghans and others to continue to make progress towards their own capacity. >> thank you. finally, general i know we moved additional forces in earlier this year. i believe they began arriving april, may, june, and we've began an offensive july 1st. you've had time now to assess that. that's almost what we're projecting for next year. we'll have forces arriving, some this month, and some early next year, and then we're looking to another review next december. so based on how you assess the effort this year and then the
increased effort next year, will you feel good about being able to assess for another review next december of how we're doing to date? >> i will, and, of course, we will do constant assessments as we do to see where we are, but i actually think we'll be, the progress already being made by the forces approved in march, and by the other steps we've taken and how we operate are cumulative with the additional forces that will start flowing in, and we're actually going to start earlier this year than those that were approved in march, and we're going to try to flow these official forces and employ them as quickly as we can. so i actually think by december we will have had more time to mature our thinking and show real progress, and i'm confident that we will. >> and finally, general, do you feel that you will have the flexibility a year from now,
december of 2010, to ask for additional forces if your assessment at that point points to those additional forces needed for success? >> i believe i'll have the responsibility to give my best military advice, whichever the direction the situation is going. i do not anticipate the requirement to ask for additional forces, but i would always provide my candid, best military advice. >> thank you very much, general. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. general, how good are the american troops under your command? >> they're even better than we think they are. they are, they are amazing. i've been in 33 years. carl and i served together most of that, and when i impair it to when i came in in the '70s it is completely different. we are fighting an extended war with a very professional force
augmented by citizen soldier whose do an extraordinary job. i was up at walter reed yesterday, as many of you do, seeing our wounded, and as i met soldiers and sailors who had been wounded, their sense of commitment to get back into their units, back with their forces, was extraordinary and their sense of focus on the mission. then when i go down on thanksgiving. i flew around to as many combat outposts as i could and i went to, i don't know how many, but it was a lot, and on one of them it was a young second lieutenant platoon leader along with an afghan national police element, and the organization was out there in the middle of nowhere and did not have hot chow, because their generator wasn't working, and so they were there and there wasn't a complaint at all, but one of the young sergeants came up to me and talked about partnering with the afghan police, because you know they are the much maligned afghan national police and he said, sir, you got to
understand, this is working great. this is extraordinary. the progress we're making. we should have started this months ago, that unit's on yoir 11th month of a 12-month deployment. so when i see that, every time i get out, i'm extraordinarily convinced how good they are and how well they're doing and at what we've asked them to do. >> you mentioned the citizen soldiers. all of us have national guard troops that have been deployed. how good are the national guard troops? >> well, they're extraordinary, but one of the things i'd say, sometimes someone will fall in and say, just as good as active duty or active army troops, regular troops. that's not the case. in many cases they bring skills from around the country, bring things that active components skills and maturity components don't have subpoena they're not exactly the same, but together they are much better. so, and we are losing, we are
paying a price with our citizen soldiers in casualties and in lost time away from home, just like we are with our entire force. so -- i just -- i cannot say enough about their performance. >> ambassador, the question is put to you. >> could i say one thing? >> how good are our troops? >> chairman, >> our troops are every bit as general mcchrystal said. if i could say one word about the civilians in afghanistan, as well. our civilian force in afghanistan representing the full agency of our government, the fbi, the drug enforcement administration, department of agriculture, state department, treasury. they are also a world-class force. i can give you one example. on the 13th of october, the u.s.
army brigade was hit by a ediieds. whenever i hear about civilians in harm's way, i give them a call that night to see how they are doing. in this case, jim green from the department agriculture and someone from usaid in the press that were in the same convoy as agricultural specialists with the u.s. army. i talked to both of them that night. i asked them how they're doing. they said they were fine and that they were just out there doing their job with u.s. army. we should be enormously proud of the civilians serving alongside the army, air force, and marines. >> we are under the 5 minute rule.
mr. reagan'aez? >> the president commented in his speech was. the week are being assisted by 43 countries -- the president commented in his speech this week that we are being assisted by 43 countries. this fight against al qaeda, somehow, we have to convince the rest of the world that it is in everyone's best interest to assist. there are two different issues brought up. the first is that there is the belief that we will leave their and we've prematurely -- and we will leave their prematurely. separately, something has to be done about the corruption within the karzai government.
these two issues are very important to the traditionally moslem countries -- muslim countries. the think we need to focus on these critical regions of the world. -- i think we need to focus on these critical regions of the world. can you comment on how we can get others to contribute to the effort? can you comment on the issue of corruption and the things that we can do to change that? both of you, please. >> great. congressman, i thought i'd start on how we can convince others to stay focused on this. we do have 43 nations. in fact, that's about to go up fairly soon as well, and that's extraordinarily important to the effort for a couple of reasons. one, they all bring capacity, but it's also very important,
because we are a coalition there we have additional credibility with the afghan people. they know a coalition will never be occupiers. so there's no way to paint us as the soviet union. so that's very important. i think it's important to all of our coalition partners to stress our long-term strategic commitment with afghanistan. many of our coalition partners are there because they believe it's important. others are there because they believe that either the nato alliance or the relationship of the u.s. is another factor and i think that's very important. but stressing the consistencesy of our commitment, i think is the most key point. >> and general, you don't think that the deadline, 18-month deadline, affects the commitment in others, other nations? >> i believe if we put the perception of that, because, in fact, i don't -- i don't view july 2011 as a deadline.
i stview that as a point at whi time the president directed we will reduce combat forces but we will decide the pace and scope of that based upon conditions at that time. so i don't believe that is a deadline at all. i think it's just a natural part of the evolution of what we're doing. >> congressman, if i could address your question about corruption. general mcchrystal and i both in our opening statements emphasized the importance of efforts to help strengthen the legitimacy of the government of afghanistan. we are working right now in many areas. let me highlight three. first of all, combined efforts, partnered efforts, with the government of afghanistan to improve their law enforcement capabilities. we have many programs. one, for instance, the development of a major crimes task force, the equivalent of an afghan fbi led bike our training efforts and the allies. secondly, we're working to help
improve the transparency and accountability of key afghan ministries through certifications programs. more of our money, of our development money, going directly into afghan ministries that are certified and in a transparent way. this requires partnership as well. right now about 80% of the developmental dollars being put in by the international community into afghanistan are outside of the afghan budget. so they need help in this area as well. and then third, we're working hard, again, with the combined international effort to help improve the civil service of afghanistan. these are long-term efforts. there's not going to be any kind of a silver bullet, but i'm optimistic we can make progress, but this all has to be underpinned by afghan leadership. encouragingly, president karzai in his inauguration attempt talked an efforts to go after corruption, but this is something we have to make progress on over the next 12 months and the next 24 months. we're going to need more afghan
leadership and more commitment, but also we're going to have to do this in partnership with the government of afghanistan. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, gentlemen. >> thank you. i read an article this morning. i think it was from the "washington post" talking about an afghan with one eye and a beard to his chest and aligned himself with the national government and with our presence there and he acknowledged that if the taliban came back to power, they were going to cut his head off. if that is a general perception of afghans, isn't it going to be kind of difficult to get them to align themselves with the federal government and with us? let's imagine for a moment that i'm one of the bad guys. i'm evil, but i'm not an idiot. i have long-range plans and above all i'm very patient. the president has signaled that
we're going to begin a drawdown in july of '11, and if conditions on the ground are okay, that drawdown is going to continue a pace. i'm going to make sure conditions on the ground are okay, because i'm a very patient guy and two years or so is not very long to wait. i'm just going to cool it for those two years or so and then these guys are going to be gone and i can have at it. isn't it going to be frightfully difficult to recruit afghans that if they know we're not success and success is not ensured, we're not successful, they're going to have their head cut off or something like that? and why isn't it true that the bad guys who have far more patience than we have. that part of the world sees the future very differently than we do. i let it go now to china to talk about energy. they began their discussion of energy by talking about post-oil. that's a long way off, sir. why won't they just wait us out? why isn't this a really
non-productive approach to the solution of that problem? >> two great points that i'd like to bring out on this. first is that you're right about the insurgency and their use of coercion. they will and do threaten people and it's very powerful, because the threat of being harmed stops you from making decisions you might otherwise make. so it's important that we be able to protect the afghan people. we can try to win their hearts and minds in the neartime, but you must be able to protect them from coercion. the second point, however, is that the insurgency has an essential weakness in this, and the challenge that does allow them to simply wait. first, they're not popular. they are not a national liberation front that people inside are just waiting for their success. they succeed on largely on their coercion. but if they go to ground or if they go to areas and simply wait, what happens is, during that period as we protect the
afghan people along with our afghan partners and build up a way of life and convince the afghan feel they have a stake in this better way of life, then the society becomes more durable. it becomes more difficult to coerce by the people have something to protect and something which they don't want to lose. additionally at this same time the afghan government, particularly afghan national security forces, are building their own capacity up, and so as the people are starting to buy into a new life and their government has increased capability to defend them, suddenly the insurgents who may have waited patiently are faced with a much less vulnerable targets or much less vulnerable afghan populace. so they really can't afford to wait, and this is -- this is the key to us trying to establish security and a future in the minds of the afghan people as we go forward.
[ no audio ] >> i'm sorry. do you see that changing? i read about one afghan who was really happy in '01 when we got the taliban out of there, but he now would welcome them back, because at least they are predictable. at least they administer justice. at least they're not corrupt. what kind of confidence do you have that the afghan government can, in fact, become a central government? they have never had a central government in 300 years. it's been tribal rule. why do you think that's going to change? >> i think it will change. they have had a central government, at least in my view, but it's never been a central government that has the same kind of control over local levels that we might in different models. >> it's been a pretend central government. hasn't it been, sir? >> a legitimate central government but, again it does
not run things quite the way, in most nations, that we're familiar with. but i believe that this is >> on the same day, they both testified in front of the armed services committee. >> good afternoon. welcome. today, the kidnecommittee hearsm ambassador eikenberry and general mcchrystal. let me begin by thanking you both. i want to thank you for your continuing service to our country. thank you to your families for the continuing support of the tasks you have accepted. please also convey our thanks to the troops and civilians that you lead into their families for
the extraordinary service. is charge of executing a civilian military plan and action to implement the strategy that the president announced last week. the president's plan emphasizes protecting the afghan people, consistent with the recommendations of general mcchrystal's assessment and includes military and civilian actions with the goal to clear, holt, build, and transfer security irresponsibility to the afghans. -- security responsibility to the afghans. it includes partnering with the afghan national security forces to empower them to provide for afghan security the president has called for rapidly deploying an additional 30,000 u.s. soldiers and marines over the coming months, likely to be joined by of the 7000 additional
soldiers from our nato and other allies participating in the afghanistan mission. the president has directed that a reduction of u.s. forces will begin in july 2011 with the location of the troop reduction to be determined by conditions on the ground. our achilles' heel in afghanistan is not a shortage of u.s. troops. it is a shortage of afghan troops. to succeed in afghanistan, it is important that we have adequate afghan partners in combat operations so that after a town is killed of taliban, security forces left to maintain order are afghan forces. in the key promise of hellman, the ratio of u.s. troops to afghan troops is about five u.s. troops to one afghan
soldier. the desired ratio should be much different, one afghan company to one u.s. company, leading to three afghan companies for every one u.s. company as a training progresses. currently, the 10,000 u.s. marines in helmand province have approximately 1500 afghan soldiers and 700 afghan police, it just over 2000 combined afghan security forces. it doubles the number of u.s. troops without damage level increase and afghan troops will only worsen a ratio in which our forces are already matched up with your afghan troops then they can and should partner with ah. it raises a troubling question.
this raises the year motivated and well respected by the afghan people. there were recent news reports that the afghan army soldiers hel or decliningmand to go on some missions. last week, secretary clinton was reported as saying that you have to bring the afghan security forces into the fight. according to the latest numbers from the transition command in afghanistan, there are currently 95,000 afghan soldiers trained. of this force, there are 80 combat battalions. about half of those are listed as capable of independent operations or of leading operations with coalition support. but last week, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff said
in an interview that there are not that many afghan soldiers in the lead. there are very few. i hope our witnesses this afternoon can give us the truth as to how many afghan soldiers and policemen are present for duty and now partnered with u.s. combat troops in the fight and how many afghan units are in the lead in combat operations anywhere. in addition to the afghan national security forces, there is a community defense initiative that appears to be an afghan version of the sons of the iraq. i hope he will describe this initiative and its strengths and weaknesses. i understand the president has directed his military commanders not to begin clearing an area unless our troops will be able to turn the area over to afghan security forces.
our witnesses could clarify at what point in the process the afghan forces will take over responsibility for'an s security. do we hold it together? ther. it is not nearly as effective to have u.s. marines standing on street corners in afghan villages as it is to have an afghan policeman or a soldier. i agree u.s. troops should not be left for month holding street corners in villages recently cleared a telegram from the -- recently cleared taliban. it will speak television propaganda and trade u.s. forces as occupiers and could lead to
greater instead of lesser afghan dependency upon us. the present strategy makes clear that our commitment to the future of afghanistan requires action on the part of the government of afghanistan to fight corruption, deliver services, institute policies for reintegration of local talent and fighters, and it just other urgent problems. . karzai -- president karzai pledged to do this and president obama will hold them to that. they will thbegin reductions to impart a sense of focus and urgency, something that has been lacking up until now and is essential to success. president carkarzai has
acknowledged the update st. "it is good we are facing a deadline" and that the afghan people must "begin to stand on our own feet." i like to hear from our witnesses whether they support and agree with the president's decision to establish a july 2011 date to begin a u.s. troop reduction. senator mccain? >> thank you. i want to thank general mcchrystal and ambassador i can vary for joining us today. i want to thank you both for your distinguished service to our country. i want to express my deep gratitude to the americans you lead as well as their families who are serving and sacrificing at this moment. i want to reiterate that i support the president's policy for afghanistan. i think he made the right decision, a brave decision
against the objections of many in his own party. to reject half measures on the counterinsurgency strategy into resources properly. i think the policy can succeed. i think it deserves robust public support both from the public and democrats alike. my main concern is the decision to begin with drawing our forces in 2011 regardless of conditions on the ground. we discuss this issue a lot last week. i appreciate the efforts. they are trying to clarify the meaning of this decision. i understand that this marks the beginning of a process. the pace of our drawdown will be conditioned. the fundamental problem remains. we have announced a date divorced from conditions on the ground when we will start to withdraw our troops.
it does not matter whether we call it a cliff or a ramp or anything else. it is still an exit sign and send a wrong signal to our friends and enemies. the administration and i will have to agree to disagree. it matters immensely what signals the sand. that is why i was very pleased to see that secretary gates is in kabul today and that the message he delivered was "we are in this thing to win." i cannot agree more. . . >> would constrain the. . numbers of battle then tested afghan security forces to lead
the fight against the enemy. we could target, more effectively. we can create time and afghan leaders with our support and pressure to crack down on corruption and build a nation that will never again serve as a base for attacks against americans and our allies. that is our theory of victory. we can only succeed if our efforts are completely joined and integrated, beginning at the top of our distinguished witnesses today. we've all read the reports of differences between you. i know that you are both professionals. i trust that any tensions you may have had are now passed and that you are now focused on the future, on your common mission, and on succeeding. this requires the joint civil /military campaign plan.
weaver told last week that the civilian and military leaders are now in the process of drafting that. -- we were told last week that the civilian and military leaders are now in the process of drafting a. we have heard a lot about goals and aspirations. i want to hear about strategy. what is our strategy for helping the afghans build political and economic order after we clear and hold the ground? what is our strategy for supporting afghan leaders? what is our strategy for working with president karzai to get the best performance possible from him and his government? i hope that we can gain greater clarity to date on the elements of our civil/military strategy. we have questions, but we cannot lose sight of one important fact. we now have an opportunity to build a bipartisan consensus in support of a vital national
security priority. defeating al qaeda and its extremist allies in afghanistan and pakistan, ensuring that these countries never again served as bases for attacks against us and our allies. americans need to know why winning this war is essential to our security. they need to know that things in afghanistan will get worse before they get better. sadly, casualties will likely rise in the year to come. but ultimately, we will succeed. americans need to know these things. americans need to know these things, especially the brave americans leading the fight. if you take only one thing back to our fellow citizens in afghanistan, let it be this. america and this congress fully behind them. we believe in them. we believe in their mission. we believe that they can
succeed. congress will do everything in our power to get them what they need to win and return home with the honor that they deserve and the thanks of a grateful nation. >> general mcchrystal, let's start with you. thank you very much, senator mccain. general mcchrystal, we will start with you. >> mr. chairman, senator mccain, distinguished members of this committee, thank you for the chance to appear before you today. >> is your microphone on? >> sir, it is. i welcome this opportunity to testify on the way ahead in afghanistan and i am pleased to do so with ambassador eikenberry, an old friend. let me begin by saluting the bravery of the men of the women of the security forces in afghanistan. they are anchored by over 60,000 brave americans, our close
partners, and a 43-nation coalition. we honor the sacrifices of the fallen, the veterans, and their families. we also recognize the toll paid every day by our counterparts in the afghan security forces and by afghan soaker -- civilians who ultimately suffer the most. it is for them and for all of us that we seek a stable afghanistan, a defunct al qaeda -- [unintelligible] >> you will have to remain seated, please. and no more outbursts, please. thank you, general, you may continue. >> and a secure future in that vital region of the world. i first deployed to afghanistan in 2002. i have commanded forces there every year since. there is much in afghanistan that i have yet to fully understand. for all of us, afghanistan is a
challenge that is best approached with a balance of determination and humility. why u.s. forces had been in afghanistan for eight years, the afghans have been added for more than 30 per day are frustrated with international efforts that have failed to meet their expectations, confronted with the crisis of confidence to view this as insufficient and the government as corrupt, or at the very least, inconsequential. we face a complex and resilience insurgency. the afghan taliban is a permanent threat to the government of afghanistan. they aspire to once again become the government of afghanistan. the insurgent groups have more limited geographic objectives but they are no less lethal. all three groups are supported to some degree by external groups outside of afghanistan.
they coexist within narcotics networks, feeding off of insecurity in the region. the mission in afghanistan is undeniably difficult, and success will require a steadfast commitment and incur significant costs. i participated fully in the president's assessment and decision making process and was supported multiple opportunities to provide my recommendations and best military advice, which i did. combined with insight and policy considerations within our government, i believe the decisions reflect a realistic and effective approach. to pursue our core goal of producing al qaeda -- reducing al qaeda and present -- and preventing their return to afghanistan, we must deny their access to the afghan population and strengthen the afghan security forces. this means that we must reverse the taliban and create the time and space to develop afghan
security and governance capacity. the president's decision recognizes that the next 18 months will likely be decisive and ultimately enable success. i fully support the president's decision. the president also reiterated the president also reiterated how this decision supports our the mission is not only important, it is achievable. we can and will accomplish the mission. let me briefly explain why i believe so. my confidence derives from the afghan resolve that is their actions that will ultimately matter the most in this conflict. with their interestwe do not cor insurgency. the taliban has no widespread constituency. they have a history of failure in power and they lack an appealing vision.
third, where the strategy is applied, we began to show that we can help afghanistan establish more credible governance. the afghans do not regard this as occupiers. they do not desire for us to remain for ever, but they do see us as a necessary bridge for future stability. i have been back in afghanistan for six months. i believe that with the president's decision and ongoing reforms, of efforts now have a greater sense of clarity, capability, a commitment, and confidence. the president's recently completed review of our strategy questioning all assumptions and recommendations has created greater clarity of our mission and objectives. we have greater clarity on the way forward. additional forces will deploy shortly. by this time next year, knut securit will be clear to us thae
insurgency has lost the momentum. by the summer of 2011, it will be clear to the afghan people that the insurgency will not win. that will give them the chance to side with their government. from that point forward, we plan to have fewer combat forces in harm's way, we will remain partnered with the afghan security forces in a supporting role to solidify their gains. results may come more quickly. we must demonstrate progress towards the objectives. the fact is that there are no silver bullets. . . @ ua@ s)@ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @
he national security forces and forces to partner with afghan army and police and expanded security zones in key expanded security zones in key areas will pr the additional capability we are building translates into credibility in the minds of afghans, and reminds troops that we not only want to protect them, but that we can. in a world of perceptions, the mind of an elder, the hope of a mother, the aspirations of a child, this can be decisive. our commitment is watched intently and constantly judged by allies and enemies. the commitment of forces along with additional coalition forces and growing security force members will be a significant step towards expanding security
in critical areas and demonstrating resolve. the commitment of all coalition nations will be buttressed by a clear understanding of how we will mitigate risks. i briefly mention three. the first is the afghan government's credibility deficit, which must be a critical area of focus and change. equally important is our ability to accelerate development of afghan security forces. measures such as increased payment incentives, literacy training, and development are necessary to position the security forces to assume responsibility for a long-term security. third, the hazard posed by extremist operating on both sides of the border must be mitigated by enhanced coordination and enhanced pakistan the engagement.
looking ahead, i am confident that we have both the right strategy and the right resources. every trip around afghanistan reinforces my confidence in this effort. but i also find confidence in those trying to help. that confidence is found when afghan farmers choose to harvest wheat instead of poppy, or when a young afghan join the police, or when a group of villagers results to face the local insurgency. neither the afghan people nor the international community want afghanistan to remain a sanctuary for terror and violence. if we are to be confident of our mission and our prospects, we must also be accurate in our assessment. we owe ourselves, our leaders, and the american people
transparency and candor. because the price is high, mistakes are even higher. in closing, my team and i would like to thank you and colleagues for your support to the american men and women currently serving in afghanistan and tell you about them. we risk having numbers like 30,000 at roll off of our towns without remembering that they are fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters, selfless and their sacrifice for each of us. i asked a young surgeon where he was on 9/11, and his answer was, "getting my braces removed." it has been eight years, and many of our service members have sacrificed much. but as i see them in action, partnering with afghan forces,
they do not talk about what they've given up. they talk about all but they are accomplishing in this endeavor. this is not a force of rookies or dilettantes. experience and expertise is reflective of the force that represents you. all have felt fear and loneliness, most have lost comrades, none have lost heart. in their eyes, i see a commitment to succeed and a commitment to each other. i'm confident that i share your pride in what these great americans are doing, and it would be my privilege to accept your questions on their behalf. thank you. >> chairman, ranking member, a distinguished members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to present my views
on afghanistan today, and i would like to ask my full statement be submitted for the record. last week, in his speech at west point, president obama presented the administration's strategy for afghanistan and pakistan. his decision came after an intensive, deliver live, far- reaching view. i am honored to be a part of that. i'm called it his course offers the best path to stabilize the afghanistan region and make sure that al qaeda cannot plan attacks against us. i considered a privilege to serve as ambassador and represent an amazing team of experts who form the most dedicated and united embassy anywhere in the world today. i am extraordinarily proud of
them. i'm also honored to testify alongside general stanley mcchrystal, a professional colleague and friend of many years. i want to say from the outside that general mcchrystal and i are united in a joint effort for personnel run side-by-side with partners and allies. we could not accomplish our objectives without this kind of cooperation. as you know, the united states is at a critical juncture in involvement with afghanistan. an accelerated timetable has the goal of breaking insurgency momentum, hastening the training of security forces, and establishing a base in key parts of the country. on the other side, increase employment and provide services in areas of greatest in
security and improved at the national level. these steps, taken together, will help remove uncertainty from the battlefield and build support for the afghan government. we will be clear about what to expect from those who receive our assistance. after a difficult election, the afghan government does show signs of recognizing the need to deliver better governance and security. we'll wait urgent, concrete steps in a number of areas. i would also like to briefly discuss the three main pillars of our efforts in the incident, security, governance, and developments. since assuming my post, i have made a special point of getting outside of kabul to see conditions for can -- firsthand,
and i concur with the assessment that the security situation remains serious. sending additional forces to afghanistan is critical to regaining the initiative, and i'm confident that as these troops arrived, the situation will stabilise in our favor. we expand work with the army and police so they take a wonder role in providing for the security of the people. the transition to afghan responsibility will begin in the summer of 2011 when we expect the afghans to begin assuming lead responsibility for their country. the second pillar of our strategy focuses on governance. our overarching goal is to encourage and improve
governance so afghan's made see the benefits of supporting a legitimate government and the insurgency in turned loses support. one of the major impediments to our bases today is the government of afghanistan's lack of credibility with its own people. our focus is on improving key ministries by in creasing the technical advisers and providing developmental assistance. by focusing on ministries delivering essential security, we can accelerate the building of an afghan government that is sufficiently visible, effective, and accountable. at the district levels, we're working jointly with military partners through are working groups, and support teams,
helping build capacity, particularly in areas of greatest insecurity in southern and eastern afghanistan. underpinning these efforts is the need to combat corruption. under our assistance, the afghan government is building institutions to fight corruption. in his inaugural address, president karzai stated his intention to make merit-based appointments in his cabinet's and to implement anti-corruption strategy. we are encouraged by a statement. cultivation of poppy and trafficking in opium also continue to have a debilitating effect on afghan society. our strategy is multi-pronged, involving efforts by law enforcement and the military to detain traffickers and interdict drug shipments and support for agricultural development.
the narcotics problem will never have a solution without economic development, and this leads to the third pillar, which is development. in recent months, we have adjusted our approach to focus on building key element of afghanistan's private sector economy, increasing emphasis on agriculture, increasing revenue collection, and improving coordination within the government and the international community. these steps were taken to produce improvements in the lives of ordinary afghans and contribute directly to more effective government and less and support for the insurgency. rebuilding the farm sector in particular is essential for the afghan government to reduce the pool of unemployed men who formed recruiting base for extremist groups. we estimate some 80% of the afghan population derives in, either directly or indirectly from agriculture, their income.
we're focusing on what is attainable. it is our belief in a sustainable, representative government in afghanistan and a sustainable economy is essential to success. we need a viable afghan government so forces can drawdown and the investment tax appears to be reduced -- of taxpayers can be reduced. in spite of everything we do, afghanistan may struggle to take over governance on a timely basis. the second is our partnership with pakistan. the efforts we are undertaking are likely to fall short of our strategic goals, unless there is
more progress in eliminating the sanctuary's used by the taliban. if the main elements are executed and our partners and allies do their part, i'm confident we can achieve objectives. i say this with conviction, because for the first time, during my three tours of duty in afghanistan, all of the elements of power are being employed with the full support of the president and our allies. achieving our goals for afghanistan will not be easy, but i am optimistic we can succeed with the support of congress. our mission was under resource for years, but it is now one of the highest priorities, with substantial development funds and hundreds more civilians. we will soon increase our presence over threefold in kabul, and sixfold in the field.
we will need more. foreign assistance is also small, a fraction of the total amount spent in afghanistan over recent years. additional resources will be necessary, and we look forward to sharing more details of our anticipated needs in the coming days and weeks. afghanistan represents a daunting challenge, and success is not guaranteed, but it is possible. with the additional troops and resources provided by the president and the help of congress, we will work tirelessly to ensure that al qaeda never again finds refuge in afghanistan and threatens or country and homeland. thank you, and i look forward to your questions. >> general, is that your
personal, professional judgment and when that the president's strategic plan is correct? >> yes, mr. chairman coming in is -- yes, mr. chairman, it is. i am comfortable with the entire plan. >> ambassador, do you support the president's plan in each of its elements? >> i do. >> the date is july of 2011 for troop reductions. the pace is dependent on conditions on the ground. do you fully agree with the july 2011 date directed at the start of reductions of some u.s. forces? >> i do, and i would like to
explain why. i view it in a wider context. most importantly, the president has stated the commitment to a strategic partnership with afghanistan and the afghan people. i believe that the context that provides that we will not abandon them is very important. it gives them a consistency for the future. on the very near term, the president has provided our forces, additional combat forces, which i described as being able to provide us time and space to reverse taliban momentum and make progress against the insurgency in the near term. i think the next 18 months are critical.
i believe that when we had july 2011, it is not a significant factor in our campaign plan. in fact, it has a positive function on hour after the partners in reminding them that although we have long-term commitment, we also have shared responsibility. so there is a positive. i want to put out that there is an information operation challenge by the taliban, trying to paint this in a particular picture, and we have to detail that. >> what is the number? >> you will permit me to pull
out my numbers here. for example -- >> just give us the number of afghan soldiers partnered with u.s. combat forces in the fight. >> 16,700. >> how about east? >> 20,300 army. none of those numbers include police. >> it is reported we have a thousand marines there in that operation and 150 afghan troops. when we were in the province, there were five -- there were five u.s. troops for each afghan troop. 0about seven u.s. troops for
everyone afghan. given the number of afghan troops we were there, where these ratios so inconsistent with what our own doctrine is, saying that we should have a one-one partnership, one unit of hours before one of theirs leading to one unit of our worst -- ours to three of theirs? how is the ratio so reverse from what our doctrine requires? >> the main focus of our strategy has been in the south. in that area, it was about one afghan security force
participants to five coalition. by the end of january, we will have one-2.3. >> the british and australian insist on one-one. they are mainly their 4 partner in -- therefore partnering. why do we not have the same insistence that that be implemented in our doctrine, since partnering is such an important part of our mission? >> i could not agree more. there simply are not enough afghan national army to do that. we are seeing 1900 additional afghan army soldiers between december and january, 16 new companies going into the area.
>> we will have 20,000 thereby what time? >> by spring. >> so the ratio will still be overwhelmingly u.s. to accept him, isn't that right? -- to afghans? >> we are flowing everything we can build in the afghan army into that area. i agree with your point. >> we have been told, general jones indicated, that seven of the 34 provinces today have conditions for successful transitions right now.
specifically, security, and development, and reasonable government. why not transfer responsibility now, since conditions exist now for successful transition? >> legally, the afghans are a sovereign country. it is different than iraq. >> so why do gates and clinton say that transition will begin in july to us 11 if the conditions exist now? why wait? >> the city of kabul has already transferred. there are areas where they in fact have executed, because there are not coalition forces operating in those areas.
so the legal mandate that might be executed to do that, i think, is really a formality. >> thank you very much. senator mccain. >> ambassador, during the decisionmaking process, there were several cables you sent back that were classified, secret, and yet were revealed to the media indicating you had strong reservations about a surge. have they been resolved in your mind? >> 100%, with the refinement of the mission and clarification on ways we are going to move forward. absolutely. >> secretary gates said today that we're in this thing to win.
do you agree with that statement, and do you have what you need to win? >> i think we have what we need to win. but the ultimate winners are the afghan people. >> what do you expect we will have achieved by 2011? what you think we will have achieved as a firm date for beginning withdrawal of u.s. troops? and we will have benchmarks, i'm sure. >> absolutely. the most important thing we will have done is convince the
american people that we and the afghan government are going to win, and that will be the direction for the future. to get to that, we will start with success in that fight being what the people believe. we will be able, between now and december of 2011, to increase the security we have. for example, a former in the central valley, secured now by marines, they will be able to move product from here to kandahar. we will be able to grow and increase ability not only to live in his own neighborhood more, but for the afghan to live
life more normally. >> what we do in 2011? >> we go in and baked iterations based on the situation. >> but we still have a firm date. you said that the success of this operation will be determined in the minds of the afghan people. what would you say to afghans, pakistanis, and others in the region, who now feel like hedging their bets because they doubt commitment and resolve? >> there are some in ignorance will try and use that as a point of propaganda.
we can make that point effectively if we focus on our strategy. >> and it is obvious from your experience in afghanistan that the afghan people do not want the return of the taliban, and that is a significant advantage and one that has not been made as clear to the american people. >> that is absolutely correct. everywhere i go i have never seen evidence that the taliban have popular support like a political liberation movement. they get support largely recursion -- through coercion.
the afghan people are simply waiting to see if their government can it defeat that insurgency. >> your goal to train 4000 security forces by 2013? >> i recommend we stay on a very aggressive timeline to reach that but it just our schools on two things. but the side be able to be adjusted, and that the ability of the afghan government to provide recruits and these other things that provide for growth. the total will be approaching three and a thousand people -- 300,000 people. >> what about the strain on the men and women in the military? >> i think the strain is significant, but i was at walter reed yesterday morning, and as i
went through and visited, every soldier we spoke to tarp about wanting to get back in the fight, even though it was clear that many would be very challenged to do that. every soldier i see in the field expresses the same focus. so i believe that where there is clear strain on the families, we cannot understate the importance of the programs for wounded warriors and families. i believe this force wants to win, and commitment is the most important thing. >> what effect will our effort on osama bin laden have there? >> i believe he is an iconic figure at this time whose survival emboldens al qaeda as a franchisee organization across
the world. it would not defeat al qaeda to have him captured or killed, but i do not think we can finally defeat them until he is captured or killed. >> senator, i would only add to that but it does remain important to the people of the world that one day he is either captured or killed or brought to justice, and his responsibility for the death of americans on september 11, 2001. >> i thank you. you have our support and parts and purrs with you and we look forward to making your life miserable by coming to visit you. >> i promise to come with senator mccain and to the extent
i can -- >> on wednesday, david petraeus said that the situation in afghanistan is likely to get harder before it gets easier. the general testified before the senate foreign relations committee about president obama's strategy, including deploying an additional 30,000 troops. this is to 0.5 hours. -- this is 2.5 hours. the hearing will come to order. wee delighted to welcome today under secretary jack loo, ambassador karl eikenberry and lieutenant general petraeus from afghanistan. we're very, very pleased you could take time to be with us
today. we all know eight days ago the president announced his decision regarding a new phase in our afghan mission including the important decision to send an additional 30,000 troops. and for all of the answers that the president offered and there were many, certainly explanations of his strategy and reasons for his decision, a lot of questions still have remained and our appropriately being asked by various committees on the hill, and we appreciate, obviously, the administration's cooperation in making themselves available so those questions can be answered. it is important. needless to say, for the american people to understand the strategy, and the stakes. the details of our civilian strategy particularly how afghan governance at all levels will improve and above all, how we will strengthen our partnership
with pakistan. as i've said a number of times, i believe that there are just some common sense conditions based on the judgments that we have been hearing from commanders in the field and from our ambassadors that ought to narrow and guide the deployment, the sort of mission tasking, if you will, of our additional troops, and i think those are, are there reliable afghan partners? are there reliable afghan forces to partner with? because the object of this exercise is to transfer the responsibility to them. second, are there local afghan leaders to work with on the ground, because we want them to be invested, and to come in quickly underneath the clear and hole and third is the civilian capacity in place to make the military gains sustainable?
i was very pleased to hear general mcchrystal say yesterday that as we plan new operations we're going to take great care to ensure that the civilian elements are in place to immediately follow our troops. i think that is critical and it is very reassuring to hear that that judgment will be made. ultimately, our success depends on having a robust civilian effort to build in oun military gains and general petraeus has consistently argued as did when he was general eikenberry now ambassador eikenberry consistently argued that there is no military solution allmyly. so that needs to remain front and center. importantly, each of the challenges i've mentioned demand not only that america improve our past performance, but also our partners, all of them, must improve theirs. and this challenge is especially crucial when it comes to pakistan.
i am convinced that what happens in pakistan, particularly near the afghan border, will do more to determine the outcome in afghanistan than any increase in troops or shift in strategy. pakistan is in many ways the core of our challenge. from the hakani network to other, the interconnected extremist groups that we face don't stop at the afghan border. and so our strategy cannot stop there either. it must extend to pakistan. al qaeda's leaders are there, most likely including osama bin laden. home-grown militants like lashkar itaeba are there and so are others directing the insurgency in afghanistan. pakistan is a sovereign nation and obviously we need to respect that, but we must convince its government to tackle all of the
extremist groups threatening regional and international security. for pakistan's sake as well as the regions and all of those who have a stake in the, in this effort. the pakistani military should be congratulated and it has demonstrated firm resolve with its offensive against the pakistan and division of the northwestern province in south waziristan and its commanders deserve great credit. they have sacrificed. now we're looking for them to take on the afghan network, and al qaeda strongholds. this will be crucial to our success in afghanistan. today we are prepared to provide pakistan with additional equipment, and other military assistance to help its people, and its government, to prevail against these extremists. but we have to know that we are building a new and a lasting
partnership. many pakistanis believe that america will once again abandon the region as we did after the fall of the soviet union. one reason why pakistan has often hedged its bets and used the taliban for strategic depth. so let me be clear, and i think i speak for -- for the committee in this, and for the congress, because it would be a mistake for anyone in pakistan or elsewhere to believe that the president's words about drawing down troops from afghanistan somehow mean an end to our involvement or engagement in the region. it does not. our challenge today is to persuade pakistan that it cannot and does not need to hedge its bets. our troop deployments will eventually decrease, but the conditions that will permit them
to decrease will be beneficial to pakistan. and america remains committed to the people of the region for the long haul as our 7.5 billion dollar civilian commitment demonstrates. this also reflects our recognition that pakistan's civilian, military and intelligence leaders face serious challenges. all of us are engaged in a difficult balancing act between the tougher measures we believe must be taken and the anti-american blowback that such measures can bring to pakistan's fragile democratic institutions. it should help our efforts that no country has suffered more than pakistan at the hands of al qaeda. the taliban, and affiliated terrorist groups. some 2,600 people have been killed in terrorist attacks in pakistan in the last 2 1/2 year, yet with so many pakistanis view the united states as a problem,
we have to admit that we have simply not fought for our reputation enough. we must do more to make sure to make the case that fundamentally america and pakistan are fighting for the same things. we need to make clear to the people of pakistan we will be full partners in their fight against extremist element it's which is why in 2009 alone, the united states has given about 300 million conflict-affected populations in pakistan. as we know, all nations are threatened by extremism, whether it takes place in new york city or in mumbai or other areas, we must work together in stopping people, throwing bombs and killing innocent people. that is the world's challenge, and it means that afghanistan, pakistan and india must cooperate to reduce the violence
and eliminate the tensions. our troops are defending the right of afghanistan to develop its own government. they're risking their lives to chase down international criminals who threaten not just the united states but afghanistan, pakistan and beyond. there will come an inevitable moment in this fight where our partners in pakistan must take up the fight with an equal vigor so we don't have to take matters into our own hands. i believe we can build a significantly stronger relationship with pakistan and i also believe in the long run pakistan will strengthen its own democracy, institutions and security by engaging in an unfetterrd fight against the extremists with its own borders. here in washington our domestic debate focused a great deal of energy on the question how many troops we will send to afghanistan. i believe other strategic question, civilian capacity,
improved governance, standing up afghan security forces and especially greater cooperation with pakistan, greater partnership, if you will, that those are the crucial derman nants of success, not the numbers of troops. at sentcom commander and the state department official responsible for the management, the members of this panel are all of them well equipped to talk the details of these vital efforts today and i look forward to their testimony. senator lugar? >> mr. chairman, i join you in welcoming secretary loo, ambassador eikenberry and general petraeus. we appreciate that you've come to the foreign relations committee today. this builds on the hearing left week with secretary clinton and admiral mullen and explored not only the prospects for success of the military campaign in afghanistan but also how the president's plan fits into our
broader strategic objectives of preventing terrorist attacks and stabilizes the middle east and south asia. much of the debate in congress has focused on the president's stated intention to begin withdrawing some u.s. troops by july 2011. some members have voiced concerns that such a date undercuts impressions of the u.s. resolve, gives the taliban and al qaeda a target beyond which they can wait us out. other members with a very different view of the war worry that july 2011 date is so flexible it offers no assurance that troops will be withdrawn. this is a legitimate item for debate, but i am doubtful the success or failure hinges on this point nearly as much as it does on the counterinsurgency strategy employed by allied troops, the viability of afghan security forces and most importantly, how the united
states engages with pakistan. i have confidence that the addition of tens of thousands of u.s. and allied troops under the direction of general petraeus and mcchrystal will improve the security situation on the ground and in afghanistan. more uncertain is whether the training mission will succeed sufficiently to allow u.s. forces to disengage from combat duties in a reasonable time period. the most serious question, our hearings have underscored that the potential global impact of instability and a nuclear arms to pakistan dwarfs anything likely to happen in afghanistan. the future direction will have consequences for non- proliferation efforts, for global economic security, for relationships with india and china, and security in the middle east and south asia regions.
last week, the secretaries and admiral mollen acknowledged the importance of the calculation. they underscored that the administration is executing in regional strategy, and i'm encouraged are reports that describe intense diplomatic efforts aimed at securing greater cooperation. but we should remain cognizant that the focus of policy tends to follow resources. by that measure, afghanistan will still be a core of our regional experts. the president and his team justify their plan not only on the basis of how it affects afghanistan but also on how it will impact efforts to promote a stronger alliance with pakistan and increases common objectives. the president has said that the united states did not choose this war, and he is correct.
but we're choosing the battlefield where we concentrate our resources. as long as the border with pakistan provides the enemy with an avenue of retreat, our odds for destroying the insurgency are negligible. the risk is that we will spend tens of billions of dollars in fighting a strategically less important afghanistan well taliban leaders become increasingly secure in pakistan. strategically less important afghanistan while taliban and al qaeda leaders become increasingly secure in pakistan. if they are able to sit safely across the border directing a
hit-and-run war against us in afghanistan, touting catastrophic terrorist attacks abroad and working to destabilize pakistan from with, our strategic goals in the region will be threatened, despite progress on the ground in afghanistan. some reports indicate that taliban leaders are aware of the threat from u.s.-operated predator drones are moving out of remote areas in the crowded cities, are moving rather out to the remote areas from the crowded cities, including a karachi, for example. if such reports are true, the united states will have even fewer options to pursuing taliban and al qaeda leaders in pakistan absent the active help of pakistani authorities. specifically, will pakistan work with us to eliminate the leadership of osama bin laden and other major al qaeda officials?
in addition to improving the cooperation of pakistani authorities, the united states and our allies will have to become more creative is now he engage with the afghan and pakistani peoples. we should understand as a matter of survival, people in dangerous areas on both sides of the border will tend to side with whoever is seen as having the best chance of winning. we should also recognize that tribal loyalties most notely pashtun loyalties are at odds with the strong central government and with that acquiescence to external military pow. the rand corporation observed recently i quote, the objectives should be to do what afghanistan says most effective historical governments have done. help the pashtun tribe, subtribes and plans providing security and justice in the areas. and help to manage the process. end of quote.
meaningful progress in afghanistan is likely to require tolerance or even encouragement. of tribal administration in many years, as well as convincing tribal leaders that opposing the taliban is in their interests. and these circumstances we should explore, for example, how a cell phone and other communication technologies can be used more effectively. both as an avenue for public diplomacy for the afghan people and as a means for gathering information from them. already 7 million cell phones are in afghanistan. one for every 4 inhabitants, more or less. the taliban is bent on destroying communication towers, understanding the threats posed by these technologies. for example, cell phones could be used by sympathetic afghans to produce realtime intelligence, including photographs of ieds being
prepared, or calls alerting coalition troops to movement of the taliban. phones eliminate the need for informants to take the risks of visiting a police station and of conversing openly with u.s. troops. similarly, expanding the use of credit card transactions could prove revolutionary in problems that lacks an effective banking system. they can provide a way to reduce corruption, improve accounting with the afghan government and security forces, and relieve soldiers from going a.w.o.l. and deliver pay safely to their families. i appreciate the innovation and dead dhags our witnesses displayed in the past, and their willingness to take an extremely difficult mission. i noted last week that the president deserves credit for accepting the responsibility for this difficult problem as we go forward, and that is equally true for our distinguished
panel. i look forward to their discussions and i appreciate their service. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you very much. we're going to start with the testimony from secretary loo and we're bratful with you taking on the civilian side of this. thank you. general petraeus will follow and general, about as interesting a set of challenges as any commanding general could have in succession, and we're pleased and delighted to have you here and very respectful of your leadership in all of this. finally, ambassador, eikenberry, let me just thank you. i had occasion to spend about five days with you and i saw what an outstanding team you have there working with you, and what a terrific job you yourself are doing. i want to thank you for that. i wish you would extend to them our gratitude, because the competence overall was extraordinary. i know president karzai and others had have great respect for that team and for the work
you're doing. so we're very grateful to you. thank you. secretary? >> thank you, mr. chairman. chairman kerry, senator lugar, members ever the committee i'm honored to be here with 5ebd eikenberry and general petraeus with a deep understanding of afghanistan and appreciation of the challenges we face there, clear ideas how to move forward. their leadership has been xlemp marry, commitment to truly joint civilian military efforts are absolute. over the past week secretaries clinton and gates and chairman mullen testified on the importance of the president's strategy for our national security pip today i'd like to discuss some of the key civilian components of that strategy. which is the president and secretary clinton emphasized are essential to the success of that mission. our troop increase must be matched by strong civilian deployment and the foreign assistance that reaches the regions and functions targeted by the civilian military plan. we're working with o & b to ensure the programs are fully resourced and look forward to wokking with congress on the
funding levels that meet these. the usda and other civilian agencies are working with afghan partners to bolster institutions to national and subnational levels to be ready to ramp up their own responsibility when our combat troops begin to depart. the president's time frame gives the afghan government and president karzai a sense of urgency to make the reforms needed for better governance and stronger institutions. this effort will continue long after our combat troops begin to drawn do you and their key to our enduring commitment to afghanistan, pakistan and the reefen. it's critical that of a phans take increasing responsibility for their own long-term welfare and security when our combat troops begin to debate. on my visit to afghanistan and pakistan i've seen working in the fields and construction teams in afghanistan and their consulate pish shour.
making extraordinary sacrifices on behalf of or security. as secretary clinton said last week and ambassador eikenberry will elaborate, we really do have the best people in these jobs. this is an effort to be hopeful despite the serious situation in afghanistan. civilian experts helping to build the afghan government capacity in the national ministries and provisional and district levels, providing development assistance in the field and working on scores of other roles. as i will discusses in a few minutes our civilians in pakistan are making similar contributions. their vice strategy will focus resources partnering with local officials and afghan citizens to deliver high impact systems. expanding programs that bolster afghan's alonging a sector, the traditional core of the afghan economy, the agricultural sec r sector. create jobs, reduce the flow of funding for the taliban from
poppy cultivation draw insurgents off the battlefield. training capable police we are concentrating on rule of law programs to help the afghan government and local communities develop responsive mechanisms as an alternative to brutal taliban justice and launching comprehensive communications efforts to empower afghans to challenge threatening narrative that extremists use to assert control. we will support an afghan-led effort to open the door to former taliban who abandon violence and want to reintegrate into society. we understand some who fight with the insurgency do not do so out of conviction but because of economic pressure which is a powerful form of coercion. our efforts will help afghans secure a better future if they do so peacefully, respecting fellow citizens and renounce al qaeda. it is also critically important the afghan government make progress on control and corruption. it is in his inaugural speech last month, president karzai pledged to combat corruption improve government.
and the afghan people, and the united states and international community will hold the afghan government accountable for knting to make good on these commitments. we have seen some promising first steps. the t.j. stvpattorney general'ss investigating leaving reasons names not disclosed until there's a conviction. a major crimes tasks force is expected to be fully operational by the first of the year and the afghan government announced it will establish a national anti-corruption court, even today the afghan high office of oversight is scheduled to hold a press conference to combat corruption and share more details of action underway. i'd like to say a few words on our staffing and training. we're on track to triple the number of civilians in afghanistan by early next year and anticipate we further increase civilian staffing in 2010 by another 20% to 30% concentrating on positions in the field that deliver vital services to the afghan people. it's important to remember the multiplier effect that civilian
personnel provide. on average, ten partners ranging from locally employed afghan staff to experts who work with u.s. funded mgms. since it is estoeshl recruit civilians with the right skills we've enhanced both recruiting and training to make sure we get the right people to the right place at the right time. for example, we conducted a week-long civilian military training xwersz at a camp in indiana for civilians who are about to deploy to field positions from state usaid and other civilian agencies. i visit a few weeks ago and saw firsthand how the training immerses civilians and military in real-life exercises training side-by-side with afghan american whose played role of interlock coutures, plan projects, hold meetings and practice safety and security with military partners. those who recently returned from the prts are contributing to training as subject matter experts and share their real-life experiences to civilians about to go abroad to
take their place so they can be safe, more prepared and do their jobs more safely. i want to assure this committee we will do everything we can to make sure that our men and women are well prepared and well supported, both from kabul and washington so they can succeed in their efforts and make our nation more secure. we're building a core of afghan and pakistan experts who continue to contribute to the mission even after they return. foreign service officers with pakistan and afghanistan experience key positions at the desks here in washington, at the foreign service institute on training, and ambassador holbrooke's office at nato and other posts. secretary clinton when they was in kabul in november she heard from a u.s. army colonel, woo he is thousands of outstanding service, none had 40 years of agriculture law or govern of expertise. but the usda, usaid and state department experts serving alongside his battalion. he told her he was happy to supply whatever support these valuable civilians need and he said we need more of them. the president's strategy with
congressional support will make that possible. now, i'd like to take a few moments to address how the recently completed strategic review impacts u.s./pakistan relations. as the president made clear in his speech last week our partnership is linked to our efforts in afghanistan. we're committed to a partnership with pakistan that is is built on a foundation mutual interest, mutual respect and mutual trust. we're not only strengthening pakistan the capacity to target the groups that threaten our countries but providing substantial resources to support democracy and development in pakistan. the president said going forward the pakistani people must know the state department is working closely with military partners to manage two programs.